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Nasrallah dismisses Netanyahu's UN 'farce', calls for unity against Israel

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivers an address on the movement's al-Manar TV on December 11, 2017
Handout (MANAR TV/AFP)
He went on to call on all Lebanese people to stand united against the Jewish state

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at the UNGA last month in which he attested to various manufacturing and storage sites for Lebanon's precision missiles.

“Netanyahu’s psychological warfare over the missiles was a farce,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech on Friday.

At the same time, he touted a policy of "constructive ambiguity" regarding Lebanese weapons arsenal in order to avoid providing "free information" to enemies.

According to the Israeli premier, the precision missiles are accurate within 10 meters (32 feet) of their target. Hezbollah is believed to have around 100,000 and 150,000 missiles and rockets, though only a minority are expected to employ precision technology.

During his UN speech in which he focused on the "Iranian threat", Netanyahu also held up aerial photos of Hezbollah weapons stores in the Lebanese capital, saying “Israel knows what you are doing, Israel knows where you are doing it, and Israel will not let you get away with it.”

Netanyahu said the three sites identified were located near Lebanon’s International Airport, another underneath the port of Beirut, and the third under a soccer field. Hezbollah thus uses these sites as “human shields”, claimed Netanyahu.

AP Photo/Richard Drew

But Nasrallah vowed to remain silent on the matter in order to avoid playing into the hands of "the enemy."

"We did not comment on the accusations, and no one expects us to comment on the Israeli accusations," the leader of the Lebanese militant group said, adding, "We should not help the enemy in its psychological war against our country."

He went on to call on all Lebanese people to stand united against the Jewish state.

"I would like to thank people for their cynical response to the accusations of the failed Israeli officials. This is the responsibility of everyone in Lebanon," he emphasized.

Tensions between the two enemies have been elevated since, with Lebanese President Michel Aoun threatening to confront any “Israeli aggression” following Netanyahu's UN speech.

Lebanon's Foreign Minister gathered ambassadors at the beginning of the month near Beirut international airport in a bid to disprove Israeli accusations that the Hezbollah movement had secret missile facilities there.

"We are grateful to Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil for his advanced diplomacy in defending Lebanon," Nasrallah said of his efforts.

Netanyahu hit back at the Lebanese Foreign Minister, calling the tour “fraudulent propaganda”.

AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

The two countries last engaged in a war in in 2006 when Israel retaliated for a cross-border raid in which Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed three.

Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets into northern Israel, which carried out devastating strikes across Lebanon.

Many people in Israel considered the massive ground and air war on Lebanon to be a failure because it did not halt Hezbollah rocket fire or recover the two captured soldiers.

Since the 2006 war the border between Lebanon and Israel has remained relatively calm.

Israel nevertheless continues to strike weapons convoys from Iran en route to Hezbollah to prevent the militant group from arming itself further.

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